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Fans get chance to bid farewell before Dubliners legend is buried

THE funeral of folk legend Barney McKenna, the last original member of The Dubliners, will be held on Monday.

The 72-year-old banjo player, who was affectionately dubbed 'Banjo Barney', will be buried in Trim, Co Meath, where his family is originally from.

Brian Hand, agent for The Dubliners, said it was Mr McKenna's wish to be buried in Trim where he had a little hideaway.

"He was born in Dublin but the McKennas are originally from Trim and have always had a connection with Trim," he said.

"He had a little hideaway there. That's where he was going on Thursday before he died."

Mr McKenna was the last remaining member of the original line-up of The Dubliners. Fans will be able to pay their respects to the musician in Dublin and Trim over the Easter weekend.

His remains will repose at the Church of The Assumption in Howth, Co Dublin, today from 3pm to 6.30pm and at Heffernan's Funeral Home, High Street, Trim, tomorrow from 3pm to 7pm.

He will be removed to St Patrick's Church, Trim, Co Meath, on Monday at noon.

His funeral Mass will be held at 12.30pm, followed by burial at St Loman's Cemetery in Trim. Mr McKenna, a widower, is survived by long-term partner Tina Hove, his sister Maria Fuller and his brother Sean Og McKenna.

Mr Hand said the church in Howth and funeral home in Trim would be open for the public.

The north-Dublin harbour village is also home to the Abbey Tavern pub, one of the first places The Dubliners regularly played outside O'Donoghue's pub on Merrion Row.

"We will go up to where it all started off," he added.

Mr McKenna passed away after collapsing at his home in Howth. He was chatting to guitar player and lifelong pal Michael Howard and finishing a cup of tea before leaving to catch a bus to Trim when his head fell to his chest.

He was rushed to Beaumont Hospital where he was pronounced dead. A post-mortem is being carried out.

One of Mr McKenna's last public performances was on Wednesday at the funeral of RTE floor manager Dara O Broin in Dublin.

He was also among the latest line-up of The Dubliners, who recently finished a 12-gig UK leg of their 50th anniversary tour, including dates in London, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Cardiff.

They also toured Switzerland in February after their two homecoming concerts sold out at Dublin's Christ Church Cathedral at the end of January.

Irish Independent